Cut Your Fuel Bills By Changing Your Driving Habits

Fuel has hit the headlines again this week with Shell pulling it’s key workers out of war-torn Nigeria after attacks against oil workers. With this news The Driving Instructors Association are asking; Are people getting the most out of their fuel?

Saving fuel is a large part of efficient motoring and by driving your car effectively you could cut your fuel bills substantially.

Factors such as changing your speeds, gear changes and breaking habits all could in turn help you to get more use from your tank.

A car uses more fuel when it has been started up than it does to maintain a constant speed, and driving at a steady speed of 30 miles per hour will use half the amount of fuel than driving at a steady speed of 70 miles per hour.

It is much more economical to accelerate gradually, which may take longer to reach the speed you want, but a cars best economical performance will be when you are traveling at a road speed of between 40 and 60 miles per hour.

Gradual breaking and a minimal use of gears will save fuel, and only one gear change is necessary once a car has decelerated to a suitable speed, unless you are tackling sharp bends or corners. Harsh breaking can take it’s toll on your petrol tank, as well as brakes and tyres so anticipating the need to stop well ahead by simply taking your foot off the accelerator will help.

Changing gears can make a big difference to your fuel consumption and gear change timing is critical. The correct moment to change gear is when the speed you have reached can be maintained in the next gear without pressing down on the accelerator. Fifth gear is intended to give motorists optimal fuel economy when cruising at high speeds but changing gear too soon can waste fuel.

High speed motorway driving is what can really increase your fuel costs as well as rush hour driving where you are likely to be stopping and starting frequently. In traffic jams it is much more useful for your tank if you keep moving steadily instead of stopping and starting.

With these tips in mind you could save a substantial amount on your fuel bills.

25 January 2006 Staff

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